Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim - Report
This past Saturday was the 7th annual Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim. I had entered the 10-mile race and was feeling good about my training up to the day of the race. The weather and water conditions looked like they would be perfect.
After checking in, Sabrina and I drove down to the boat ramp to unload the kayak. After getting all our stuff out of the van and into the kayak we waited around and talked to the other swimmers. This is one of the few times a year I get to see a lot of these swimmers and I had fun talking to them before the race.
With about 15 minutes to the start of the race, Michelle Poole from Colorado came up to me and told me her paddlers was not there. We looked around for her paddler and made some announcements over the PA, but still couldn't find her. I knew how much Michelle had been looking forward to swimming the 10-mile race. She had traveled so far and had already spent money on renting a car, accommodations, etc. We tried to find her another paddler, but that's a big commitment (5 hours) for someone who didn't come ready to paddle. In the end, I decided to postpone my 10 mile swim to paddle for her. I quickly switched gears from swim prep to kayak prep and got in the water just seconds before the 10 mile start. Special thanks to Karl for letting me borrow his hat!
Michelle took off pretty fast and went back and forth between 3rd and 4th place for the first five miles. I had her feeds all ready to go, but she refused them until she got to the turnaround. At the turnaround, she was passed by Sue and fell into fifth place. On the way back, I could tell that she was losing steam. I offered her feeds several times, but she refused most of them. Finally, I got her to take a feed and she seemed to pick up her pace. With about 1 mile to go, I got her to take one more feed and she really picked it up, finishing under 5 hours.
An interesting side note, I saw someone get baptized between Rainbow Bay and Deer Creek Island Resort. Pretty cool!
I had a lot of fun paddling for Michelle and talking to the other paddlers out on the water. The weather was perfect and the water was beautiful. It was awesome to see my friends complete their goals and finish their races. I heard nothing but good things about the race. Jim and Connie did a great job as usual. I really appreciate all the work they do to keep this race going.
After the race, several people stepped up and offered to paddle for me another day so I could still get my 10 mile swim. As of right now, it looks like I'll be doing my swim this coming Saturday with Sue as my paddler. Thanks Sue! Before that though, I'm headed to Long Beach for Gordon's Catalina swim. I can't wait to see him conquer another channel swim.